Trusting God

Adoniram Judson has been a hero to generations. Such a challenge to my heart! His wife, Ann, is somewhat lesser known, but also a hero. The following is something that convicts, encourages, and challenges me every time I think of it.

On the day Adoniram went before the Congregationalists for missionary service, he met Ann Hasseltine and fell in love. One month later he wrote to her father asking for her hand in marriage; this is the letter:

I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteous, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

I have a beloved daughter, and I can imagine that if I ever got such a letter asking for her, my immediate response would be to stamp it with a giant red “Rejected!” and send the suitor packing. My daughter – my agenda, my plans, my precious things – can be an idol for me. Can I trust everything to God? Can we trust God that much? Ann’s father said “Yes”.

Ann wrote to a friend:

Yes, Lydia, I have about, come to the determination to give up all my comforts and enjoyments here, sacrifice my affection to relatives and friends, and go where God, in his Providence, shall see fit to place me.

Seven years later Ann was dead, broken from caring for her imprisoned husband. Can we trust a God who will carry his children into such places? Can we trust a God who will mark the pathway for us to follow into pain and death and heartbreak? Can the 21 Korean Christians who still breathe, waiting to follow their already murdered friends into death at the hands of the Taliban, trust the God who took them there?

We can only find the answer if we dare to follow Christ to Gethsemane and then to Calvary. Can we trust a God who will love us so much He’ll put Himself, His beloved on a cross for us? In the darkness of Gethsemane Jesus stares into the fiery furnace of God’s wrath, the heat bringing out bloody sweat on his brow, and determines to enter it in trust of a covenant, for the glory of the Father, for the love of putrid creatures. This is a Rescuer to trust, a Saviour to follow – even if his footsteps lead through the roughest places. At the other side is an empty tomb, a triumphant Captain, an eternal hope, and the blazing glory of a good and holy and loving God.

We sin because we do not trust. Eve ate because she did not believe God’s purpose and love was sure. We lie and cheat and steal and covet because we do not believe. Look on Jesus, wherever you are, and believe. Trust him!

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